Hanjin shares dive on European sale news
SHARES in troubled South Korean shipping giant Hanjin plunged 12 percent yesterday after the company announced plans to shutter its European business, fuelling fears it could be heading for liquidation.
The firm has applied for court approval to close all its units in more than 10 countries including Germany, where it has its regional headquarters, a spokesperson said.
Hanjin – South Korea’s largest shipping company – is seeking bankruptcy protection at home and in the United States after creditors rejected a plan to deal with a US$5.37 billion debt load.
Its bankruptcy would be by far the largest in the history of container shipping, which is suffering its worst downturn in six decades.
The company expects to start the closure process this week after obtaining approval from the Seoul Central District Court, the spokesperson said.
Almost 80 percent of Hanjin’s market value – about 950 billion won (US$840 million) – has been wiped out in the past year as the firm’s financial woes deepen. –